Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First Look at Untouched & Giveaway! -- Sara Humphreys

As fate would have it, this month's theme fits in nicely with my April release, Untouched. Kerry Smithson experiences a series of "firsts" courtesy of the disarmingly handsome, Dante Coltari.

Allow me to explain.

Kerry is a plus-size model with a super-size secret and she's hidden her curse from every single person in her life, including her best friend Samantha. Just the slightest touch of another human being brings blistering pain and mind-numbing visions and even though she's lived much of her life in the public eye, she's remained isolated.

Adopted into a cold and aloof family, she's never known real love, except for her BFF.  Samantha is the only person she can touch without pain or frightening visions. When she touches Sam, all she sees is the image of a wolf.

Kerry has no idea why that's the case...she's just grateful for it.

So let's think about this. If she can't touch anyone without experiencing blood-curdling pain...then it would go to follow that she's never......um...yeah...our heroine is a thirty year old virgin.

A super-hot-amazonian- drop-dead-sexy-virgin.

Until Dante comes along...

Dante Coltari (not a virgin but that's okay...we want a man who knows what he's doing) is an Amoveo from the Fox Clan and he's finally, after years of searching, found his mate. When he realizes his mate is a hybrid, like Samantha, he is fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead.

The Purists, including his own father, want to eliminate all of the hybrids to keep their ancient race of shape-shifters free of human blood. The only thing that keeps Dante from completely losing his mind is her gift of second sight. He figures that since she's already been living outside the human norm,  she'll be able to accept her Amoveo heritage with ease. He hangs all of his hopes on the fact that once they are mated all of the pieces will fall into place and she'll be able to better manage her gift.

Dante's company, Inferno Securities, is hired to provide security for Kerry while she's on a photo shoot in New Orleans. He knows that he has to get her to trust him in order to win her heart and keep her safe but that's going to be a challenge. She doesn't fall at his feet and instantly succumb to his charm.

That's a first for him.

There are several firsts for Kerry that go beyond "the first time"...although that's a rather memorable moment. But not in the awkward-teenager-where-do-I-put-stuff kind of way.

The first time he touches her there's the surprising absence of pain, an even more unexpected wave of pleasure and the sole image of a massive fox fills her mind.

There's the first kiss....first caress...first....y'know....

So here's a first look at what's on the pages beneath that gorgeous cover. Seriously, I don't know how the Sourcebooks art department does it. They capture the story so beautifully. Every. Single. Time.



In this scene, Kerry and Dante have just arrived at The Hotel Monteleone and she's getting settled in her room. Her head is spinning. He'd touched her, albeit briefly, on the plane and that mere brush of his thumb sent breathtaking pleasure through her body. Unsure if it was just a fluke, she accepts his hand as she's exiting the car and finds that it's most definitely not a one-time thing.

Something about Dante's touch was blissfully different.

Kerry's got no idea what's going on...the only thing she's sure of is that she wants more.


***
They rode up to the fourteenth floor in silence, and Kerry found herself feeling awkward and unsure. She felt like a high schoolgirl on a date for the first time. She cringed at her own foolishness. Jeez, what a dork.

The ding of the elevator signified arrival to their floor and broke the silence.

“So why is it called the Tennessee Williams suite?” he asked while they made their way down the corridor.

“All of the suites are named after authors.” Kerry fished the card key out of the paper folder and slid it into the door.

He grunted what must have been his version of saying he understood as he pushed past her into the massive suite. The large living room was well appointed with a sofa and armchairs in varying hues of cream and beige. A dining table loomed largely on the left side of the room with an enormous crystal chandelier dangling overhead. The towering windows were elegantly adorned in floral drapes fringed with tassels.

Kerry closed the door behind them and made her way into the similarly decorated and cavernous bedroom. The king-size bed looked exceptionally welcoming. She shook her head as Dante proceeded to look around every corner and in every closet. He even checked the bathroom, but for what she wasn’t sure. Although it was certainly big enough for someone to hide in, he found nothing, and made his way back to the living room.

“While I’m getting settled here,” she called from the bathroom, “why don’t you go on downstairs and get yourself checked in. I’m sure you’ve managed to get the suite next door,” she mumbled under her breath.

“No. I’ll be staying here,” he said absentmindedly, looking out the window at the bustling street below.

Kerry dropped her makeup bag onto the smooth granite counter and looked at herself in the mirror. “Is he crazy?” she whispered to her own reflection. She stormed into the living room to ask him the same question. “Are you crazy? You’re not staying in my room with me.” Her body trembled with outrage, and as much as she hated to admit it, some excitement. She crossed her arms in an effort to quiet her shaking limbs.

He didn’t even turn around, just continued staring out the damn window.

“I can’t very well protect you while staying in another room at the hotel.” His voice was irritatingly calm. When he finally turned around, she noticed he’d taken off his stupid sunglasses. “I’ll sleep out here on the sofa,” he said, gesturing to it. “Besides, I don’t sleep much anyway. I’m really more of a night creature.” A smile spread slowly across his face as he closed the distance between them. “Don’t worry, princess. You’ll be perfectly safe.”

His hulking frame loomed largely in front of her, and she felt positively tiny. She never felt tiny. Ever. Would every single encounter with this man bring a new sensation? Kerry’s tongue darted out, nervously licking her lips. Her breath caught in her chest, and her heart raced wildly. She brushed that pesky stray lock of hair off her face and struggled to keep her expression neutral.

When Kerry opened her mouth to protest, Dante placed a fingertip on her lips and shook his head slowly. She sucked in her breath, and her body shuddered faintly at the exquisite effect of his touch. Sweet, honeyed warmth radiated from her lips, flickered over skin, and flashed through the rest of her body. Did every woman feel this way when a man touched her? Is this how it’s supposed to be?

 God, she hoped so.

Kerry’s eyes fluttered closed as he gently stroked her bottom lip with his thumb, and his fingers brushed her cheek. The vision of the fox floated gently into her mind. Its amber eyes glowed brighter with every featherlight stroke. Exquisite pleasure rippled through her body. Too tired to fight it and exhausted from years of isolation, she allowed herself to give in. Eyes closed, she leaned into his hand and surrendered to the seductive sensations swirling through her.

She didn’t know why he could touch her this way. She didn’t care. All she knew was that she never wanted it to end. As if he’d read her mind, Dante held her face with both hands and stroked her cheeks softly. He tread lightly over the virgin flesh. The rough texture of his fingers against her soft skin created delicious friction.

“You have nothing to fear from me,” he said. The sound of his voice washed over her, enticing and erotic. He leaned in, and his breath blew hotly against her ear. She moaned softly in response, sinking deeper into the sweet honey of his touch. She hung there, blissfully succumbing to it, until one word floated into her mind and ripped her from the soft sensations. Princess.

Her body stilled. Her eyes flew open, and she launched herself away from him.

“What the fuck?” she whispered through trembling lips. She backed away blindly and nearly fell over the large armchair. He didn’t move or try to come after her, but kept his expression neutral. Dante stood there as though speaking to her with his mind was a totally normal thing to do.

“Did you just—?” She stammered helplessly and pointed at him accusingly. “Say something, for Christ’s sake! Don’t just stand there looking at me like I’m crazy.”

He stayed stone still. His deep amber eyes stared back at her as he held her in his unrelenting gaze. She stood her ground, hands planted firmly on her hips, waiting for him, daring him to deny it. The silence that pulsed between them seemed almost palpable. She wanted to scream and pound him in the chest, make him tell her she wasn’t crazy—and then she heard it.

Yes.

***
When I was writing Untouched, I had a first of my own. I was completely stuck and my muse wasn't forthcoming (that's not the first...or the last) but when I heard the song Honey on the Skin by Amy Petty....everything just clicked. Amy is a brilliant singer and songwriter. She and her record label have been kind enough to let me use her music for all of the Amoveo book trailers. Here's the trailer for Untouched and it features the song that inspired me.


**Leave a comment on the blog and tomorrow I'll select one commenter at random to receive a signed arc of Untouched!**


Can't wait to get your copy? You can pre-order it!
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

51 comments:

  1. UNTOUCHED sounds awesome, Sara! Looking forward to April.

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  2. Great post! Dying to read Untouched, hopefully soon. Congrats on its upcoming release!
    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

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  3. If I won Untouched, that would make my year. It is my most anticipated book of 2012. I can not wait to read it!!!!

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  4. I NEED Untouched!! I'm taking a break from school and will have the time, even thou I only need about a day to devour it!! I can't wait!! Congrats! You have to come back to Columbus, GA! I'm sooo excited about this book!!!

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  5. @Connie T--I'm psyched that you're psyched. LOL

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  6. @LadyVamp-Thanks so much for the well wishes xx

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  7. @Brenda--Wooot! Most anticiapted read fro 2012?! That's freakin' cool. Thanks.

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  8. @Carrie--I'm so pumped that you're looking foward to it so much. I'd love to come back to Georgia! We shall see...

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  9. What a premise! And we get the soundtrack. Best of luck, and I'm off to look up the buy link.

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  10. @Grace-D'oh! *smacks forehead* I can't believe I forgot to put that in there. Thanks for the reminder. Going to fix it now.

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  11. What a great premise! I'm really intrigued. Love the excerpt, too. it's so much fun when both the hero and heroine are really complex characters.

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  12. @Shana--Thanks very much. I have to admit that these are two of my favorite characters. I know we're not supposed to pick favorites but I really like them. I must like them because they keep popping up in the rest of the series.

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  13. That's an interesting idea to have for a story. Poor Kerry tho! Bet all the "firsts" are going to be real yummy to read about! I totally agree the cover is gorgeous. It definitely attracts.

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  14. WOW!
    'nuff said...
    Except I talk too much! LOL
    Great post. Book sounds fantabulous (that is a word in my writer's dictionary and means two steps out in front of fantatic)!

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  15. @Linda-Thanks! I'm glad you like the cover and I sure hope you'll enjoy reading it.

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  16. @Carolyn--Fantabulous is my kind of word!

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  17. Congratulations on your upcoming book. Untouched sound amazing. I love the cover.
    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  18. @Crystal--Thanks a bunch. The Sourcebooks art is absolutely unbelieveable! I feel extremely fortunate to be with this publisher. I think all of the covers they produce are supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.

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  19. Don't enter me for this contest--I was lucky enough to get an ARC of it off of NetGalley last week. I look forward to starting it in a few days! :D

    I think the main thing that drew me to this book (besides the gorgeous cover!) was the fact that the heroine was not a skinny twig. In the real world, most woman are not super model thin, though the media, in all forms, tries to push it at us. I actually wish more authors wrote heroines like this--even if they aren't plus-sized ones, at least gives us a heroine who has a little meat on her bones, rather than being skin and bones! :D

    Enjoy!
    TBQ

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  20. @TBQ--Sweet! I hope you'll love it :) I have to give my editor, Deb Werksman, the credit for that. Origianlly, I'd written her as a traditional model. Deb suggested that we make her a plus-size model-and I loved that suggestion!! I've struggled with my weight my entire life so to have a heroine who's not "perfect" resonates with me and I hope with readers too.
    Thanks for coming by!

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  21. I love shifter stories and am looking forward to seeing how the heroine comes to terms with her own background and that of the hero's.

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  22. ohh man this looks so good! you hooked me good with the first book.. cant wait to see how you manage this story!!
    how many books do you have planned for the series?

    alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

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  23. I love paranormal romance and can't wait to read this series.
    Tina Rucci
    purpleunicorn19 at yahoo dot com

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  24. I absolutely loved Unleashed, so I can hardly wait to read Untouched. By the way, the covers are great!. Real eye catcher

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  25. @Alaina-Love hearing that! Right now there are 5 planned but I'm hoping we'll have more.

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  26. @Tina--Thanks for checking it out :)

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  27. @Danny--I'm thrilled you enjoyed Unleashed and I have feeling you're going to like this one too. At least I hope you do ;)

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  28. That is one fabulous trailer! Wishing you tons of good luck!
    Amelia

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  29. @Amelia--Thanks! I made it myself :)

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  30. Hi Sara, I remember readig Unleashed and after I finished it I couldn't wait for Dante and Kerry's story. Congrats on its upcoming release. Great trailer, which I just saw!

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  31. Hi, I just got the 1st book to read and this looks amazing. Looking forward to reading them and love the cover and trailer. Thanks! lfacchini(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

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  32. Hello Sara! I think Untouched sounds lovely. I find it so interesting that the heroine has this affliction. I can only imagine how explosive it will be for her to actually be able to touch a man without suffering terrible pain. Congrats and good luck with the new release!

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

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  33. @Na-I'm tickled pink that you're looking foward to their story. I hope you'll love it!

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  34. @LV--Cool! I hope you'll let me know what you think of Unleashed :)

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  35. @Stacie D--Explosive is a good word to use for the two of them. LOL

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  36. Not only am I just so totally stoked for this 2nd in the series.......I just can't wait to learn more about Kerry herself. I just can't imagine what she's gone through, not having that touch that we all crave.
    Thank you for the excerpt. I would've melted right into Dante! ;)
    Thanks again,
    Sebrina_Cassity at yahoo dot com

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  37. I am so looking forward to this story. It's such an interesting concept for a story line. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

    lucydosch at gmail.com

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  38. What an absolutely gorgeous cover! I so enjoyed the excerpt and the trailer. This books looks and sounds like something I would enjoy very much! Are the books stand alone or do they need to be read in order?

    catslady5(at)aol.com

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  39. @Sebrina--I'm really looking forward to hearing what you think of it!

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  40. @Lucy--Sweet! Hope you'll love it. FYI..I'm having a book signing at the Palisades B&N on April 1st from 12-3.

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  41. @catslady--They are stand alone but Unleashed is out now. That's the first in the series but you don't have to read that one to read this one...but you could :)

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  42. Oh My! This sounds wonderful and I can't wait to read it!!

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  43. Great excerpt! Interesting concept because I think there have been studies about the need for contact in humans and Kerry seems to be relatively well-adjusted despite her deprivation. I look forward to reading the book, thanks for sharing!

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  44. @Elf2060-Human contact is crucial to survival. Kerry, luckily, had at least one person she could embrace and once she finds Dante...well...things most definitely change.

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  45. Hi there--Thanks so much to everyone who came by and posted. The winner is.....Tina Rucci!!
    Check you email :)

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  46. Looks great, Sara! Love the trailer and the excerpt!

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  47. I look forward to reading this book. The cover is great to look at too! I am excited for you.

    Thank you for the opportunity and happy release day!

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